Hurricane victims stay behind to help others
Senior staff writer
Former Perry Meridian High School baseball player Scott Hickman has seen America at its best in the devastating aftermath of Hurricane Harvey.
Hickman was among the first responders and has been in several communities assisting in the rescue of thousands of Texans who have lost everything but their lives.
In a phone call Saturday to his parents, Harold and Sue Hickman, he expressed his admiration for neighbors who had lost all their possessions but remained and helped their neighbors.
“They had lost everything, and they were coming to us wanting to know what they could do to help,” Hickman told his parents. “Regardless of ethnicity, race, color, or status, everybody has come together – truly people helping people, the way it should be in America every day.”
He expressed deep concerns about what rescuers will find when the flood waters recede and residents discover the devastation firsthand.
He said gasoline is hard to find in areas north of Houston that were not hit by record rainfall from Harvey, something he discovered after a day at home in San Antonio late last week.
Hickman recently moved with his wife, Dru, to San Antonio, where he is employed as a physical trainer through a subcontractor of Boeing. He was assigned as a civilian to Lackland Air Force Base and trains pilots.
He is a 1992 graduate of Perry Meridian and graduated from IUPUI with a degree in exercise science. He earned his master’s degree in kinesiology and body mechanics from Indiana University. He served as an athletic trainer at two out-of-state colleges and Franklin County High School in Brookville.
Due to his background in a medically related field, Hickman accompanied helicopter pilots and took part in numerous water rescues by boat and jet ski in Victoria, Beaumont, Houston, Dickerson and Katy.
“From the air it looked like houses in the middle of the ocean,” Hickman said. “They have lost everything.”
More than 50 inches of rain caused historic flooding throughout coastal Texas.
“Homes are ruined. It’s hard to imagine the devastation.”
Hickman’s parents are retired Perry Township Schools teachers and die-hard St. Louis Cardinals fans. Their son related some poignant stories to his parents. Harold also coached baseball at PMHS for several years.
Scott Hickman said one resident called a nearby Chic-fil-A that he and his wife needed to be rescued from their flood-ravaged home. The call was made and rescuers arrived on jet skis and took the husband back to his flooded home to retrieve his wedding ring and marriage license.
He also revealed that the “Cajun navy” arrived Aug. 29 from New Orleans, where it was formed after Hurricane Katrina. One of the rescuers spotted an alligator in the flooded waters near Houston and jumped in to rid the area of the ‘gator.
Hickman said he yelled, “Are you crazy?”
To which the rescuer yelled back, “The Cajun navy is here!”
Meanwhile, Scott and his wife hope that flood waters from the rising Colorado and Guadalupe rivers do not affect their apartment.